MMA is widely becoming a sport that is talked about more and more. Before, people had that 1 friend who dished out the money to order these PPV events where guys beat each other up for money. It was a reason to BBQ, drink, and hang with your friends, hoping for a highlight reel knockout. Through the years, fans have become more knowledgeable of the sport, understanding the art forms outside of the “haymaker!” Now, when I go to a friend’s house to watch the fights, it’s more common to see 1 guy who knows nothing of the sport, instead of 1 guy who knows everything. Nobody wants to be the ignorant guy on the couch who can’t contribute to the conversation, awkwardly waiting to be asked about Anthony Pettis. I will highlight some other fighters from the card in hopes that it will not only get avid fans talking, but also give casual fans the ammo they need to not be “that guy” at the party.
THE DEBUT OF JOE DUFFY
We are all aware of Conor McGregor’s current rise to the top of the 145lb division, obliterating everyone in his path. The confidence that spews from his mouth will almost make you think he is invincible. If anyone knows that’s not true, it is Joseph Duffy. In November of 2010, Duffy finished McGregor in 38 seconds via triangle choke. This was the last time McGregor lost. Since then, Duffy is 5-1, with an overall record of 12-1. Although fighting at 155, it’ll be interesting to see if this debut leads to another meeting with McGregor.
THE “OTHER” PETTIS
Dominant in his own right, Sergio “The Phenom” Pettis has yet to grab his own spotlight in the UFC. At 12-1, and some would say a last second tap away from being 13-0, Sergio is one of the more exciting fighters at 125. He brings a lot of the same flare his brother does, stemming from that Duke Roufus fighting academy. With a win in Dallas, Sergio will continue his rise, but I still feel he is a couple of fights away from top 5 talent.
DID SOMEONE SAY “MENUDO?”
If there is one thing that pisses off MMA fans, it’s a fighter not making weight. Henry Cejudo, an Olympic Gold Medalist in wrestling, is infamous for weight issues. Prior to this fight, the now 7-0 Cejudo was dubbed Henry “Menudo” Cejudo due to this reoccurring issue. Nonetheless, Cejudo has received another shot at 125, and seems to think he is a bad matchup for both the flyweight and bantamweight champs. With words like that, he better back it up big time, Friday and Saturday.
After a debut loss in a foreign weight class, “The Silverback” Roger Narvaez bounced back with a great showing against Luke Barnatt. Still undefeated at 185, Narvaez looks to pick up right where he left off against Barnatt, now taking on another TUF contestant, the highly praised Canadian Elias Theodorou. With a win Saturday, Narvaez can cement himself as legit competitor in the division.
THE CO-MAIN EVENT
Carla Esparza recently became the UFC’s first Strawweight Champion, defeating Rose Namajunas at the TUF 20 finale. Still, she has received little recognition or media attention. Most recently, Esparza was upset that fellow strawweight Paige Van Zant received a Reebok sponsorship over her, claiming it was a beauty contest. In her first title defense Saturday night, “The Cookie Monster” will have a huge audience to prove herself in front of, and make a statement.
With these fights ahead of the main event, Pettis vs Dos Anjos, there are plenty of reasons to tune in to UFC 185 on March 13th.